Gift Bags to Welcome Guests with Style
In days of yore, people grew up and got married in the same community, thus most, if not all, of their wedding guests were local. But times have changed and now the majority may be out-of-towners. Let these guests know you appreciate the time and expense involved in traveling - and get them extra-amped for your big day! - with a welcome bag at the hotel.
While these gestures aren't an etiquette “requirement,” they have become quite common. Marina Alexandra Birch, owner of Chicago-based Birch Design Studio, recommends delivering them to the hotels where you have set up room blocks, as these locations will likely house the greatest concentration of out-of-towners, where the front desk can give them to guests as they check in.
So, what do you include? According to Birch, the basics are bottled water, healthy snacks (nuts and/or dried fruit), breath mints, maps, itineraries and a list of your favorite local destinations, as well as a few “emergency” locations, such as the nearest drug store and nail salon. Small packages of Advil, tissues, sunscreen and sewing supplies could also come in handy.
If you want to give your bags a little extra flair, Rachel Hardage, deputy editor for Real Simple Weddings, suggests adding disposable cameras, local delicacies like soft pretzels in Philadelphia or pralines for a “N'awlins” soiree, and personalized door cards - print a mad-lib inspired one, such as “Do Not Disturb! We're still sleeping off the (insert drink name) and endless dancing to (insert song).”
You can also get creative with the receptacle itself. Birch loves reusable shopping bags or totes, as well as containers that showcase the couple's personalities, hometown or wedding locale, such as a fly fishing creel for a wedding in Sun Valley, or a wine crate in Napa. For other inventive options, check out BakeItPretty.com (retro popcorn tubs), says Hardage, or MelangerieNYC.com (handmade “To Have and To Hold” totes).